PDA

View Full Version : Nagaoka 4x5 field camera



t3di
6-Mar-2012, 21:48
Hi, just bought my self a nagaoka 4x5 field camera. just want to know a bit more of this camera from people that has used this field camera before.
Maybe share some photo's taken with this camera, i'm mostly going to do BW photo's with it (architecture, still life, street and nature).

Cheers from down under.

Bill_1856
6-Mar-2012, 22:07
Nice camera, a pleasure to use. The claims that it is fragile aren't really true.
Enjoy it, and let us know how it's going.

t3di
6-Mar-2012, 22:29
Nice camera, a pleasure to use. The claims that it is fragile aren't really true.
Enjoy it, and let us know how it's going.

it is a beauty, i will try to post some photos once i got the chance to buy a film development tank.
it's hard to get a 4x5 development tank these days, so i'll probably make my own using PVC pipes.

Michael_qrt
7-Mar-2012, 05:20
it is a beauty, i will try to post some photos once i got the chance to buy a film development tank.
it's hard to get a 4x5 development tank these days, so i'll probably make my own using PVC pipes.


Hi t3di, I'm also in Sydney, yay for more local large format shooters. Anyway I use a 3 reel paterson tank with the taco method and get good even development, you can also use the mod54 processor in that tank, and of course process roll film so it's a good versatile option.

Renato Tonelli
7-Mar-2012, 06:59
The Nagaoka was my first LF camera and I regret selling it. The only thing I did not like about it was the flimsy knobs that would sometime loosen when I inserted a film holder.

John Kasaian
7-Mar-2012, 09:10
I never owned one, but from the specs I always thought they would be near ideal for back packing (especially the 5x7 size!).

Peter Langham
7-Mar-2012, 10:39
Probably as light a backpacking camera as there is. Mine tended to sag a little at full bellows extension, but it sure is light. Nice camera!

Michael Graves
7-Mar-2012, 11:52
I had the opportunity to purchase one of these, but decided to pass. This particular sample did not lock down tightly at all and inserting a film holder would disrupt the position of the back no matter how hard I cranked down on the thumbscrews. I'm sure that was something that would have been easily repaired, but I didn't want a camera that needed work. The camera impressed me in every other regard and I really WANTED to like it. If your locks down okay, it's probably a wonderful tool.

Michael Wynd
9-Mar-2012, 08:12
My first 4x5 was a Nag. It was so light and the ground glass was very bright compared to the Shen Hao I got as a replacement. The only reason I got rid of it was the damage I did by having a 400mm tele on the front and not tightening the tripod head enough. It ripped one of the screws right out of the wood and was never the same after. A great camera that worked well for me for many years.

LF4Fun
9-Mar-2012, 08:50
hi, I have a Nagaoka with missing 1 of the front focus knob. Does anyone know where I can get the replacement?
thanks

Robert Crigan
9-Mar-2012, 19:17
If your criterion is light weight and portability you made a good choice. I've had my Nagaoka 45 since about 1980 and it's been backpacked everywhere. It's of such a weight that any further reduction would be of little benefit. With the Nagaoka most of the weight on your back will be in film holders and lenses.
It's not fragile if treated carefully. Sure the locking knobs can be damaged if screwed down tightly but they're not meant to be tightened with the maximum force a grown man can exert. And expectations should be adjusted for the equipment. You can't expect to be able to whack in a film holder simply by grasping the base and pushing hard. You need to support the camera while gently inserting the holder in the prised-open back.
Treat it like a lady and it will reward you well.
regards
Robert, Melbourne


it is a beauty, i will try to post some photos once i got the chance to buy a film development tank.
it's hard to get a 4x5 development tank these days, so i'll probably make my own using PVC pipes.

Tim Meisburger
9-Mar-2012, 20:50
Yes, its quite similar to the Ikeda Anba, and when I bought my Anba, someone sent me a pdf of the Nagoaka instruction sheet. Let me know if you want it.

Robert Crigan
9-Mar-2012, 21:29
Yes, its quite similar to the Ikeda Anba, and when I bought my Anba, someone sent me a pdf of the Nagoaka instruction sheet. Let me know if you want it.
Actually, I'd like a copy of the instructions for the Nagaoka. Not that I need them to use it but it's nice to have such things together. How do we do it? Should I post my email address? I've never used pm before.
thanks
Robert, Melbourne

Tim Meisburger
9-Mar-2012, 21:55
Ok. Let me see if I can find them.

Keytarjunkie
22-Apr-2012, 00:34
Thought I'd chime in a little late, I use a Nagaoka camera and absolutely love it. I got mine for $300ish from the for sale section here, I believe it's the second model although it only has front swings and no rear swings. It's incredibly light, and sturdy enough for my needs. I've handled Linhof Techs and Toyo 45 metal cameras before, they're great and sturdy and everything, but I just can't justify spending any more money because I'm so happy with the Nagaoka. I never use anything longer than 150mm, and I have used a 90mm on it no problem, anything less and I would want a recessed board.

Does anyone know what model I have? It has a bubble level on top, and a much smaller metal latch than the second models I've seen. But it's the same size as the second models, so it can't be the larger 1st model. It has a solid base with a brown-painted bottom plate in the middle of the wood. Crappy picture from a few weeks ago, I can take another one if no one can figure it out:

http://27.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m1o3krU8iC1qfj296o1_1280.png

Tim Meisburger
22-Apr-2012, 04:01
Hmmm... I seem to have never posted my copy of the manual. Around that time I was traveling and must have forgotten. Anyway, since then I found it online at Camera Eccentric. Here is the link: http://www.cameraeccentric.com/html/info/nagaoka_1.html

Sorry I'm late.

Peter Langham
22-Apr-2012, 12:50
Tim, Thanks for posting that. I have owned a Nagaoka for about 25 years and have never seen the manual. That is really cool. I was laughing the other day when I noticed the manual for a digital camera that was almost 500 pages (English only). I was thinking of the instructions that came with my Zone VI. 1 page as I recall. Thanks again. Peter

Jim Jones
22-Apr-2012, 15:29
After 25 years you probably have more than 500 pages of information and memories of using a classic camera always handy between your ears. That sure beats hauling one of those monster instruction books around.

sanking
22-Apr-2012, 15:39
I bought a 5X7 Nagaoka brand new in the 1980s. There was no manual, and really no need for one. Just play around with the movements and you will quickly see what it does.

If you are new to view cameras you should learn how to use the movement. The best one out there IMO is View Camera Technique by Leslie Stroebe. You should be able to find an old edition, which is as good as a new one, on Amazon. Steve Simmons also has a good book on view cameras, Using the View Camera.

Sandy

Shen45
22-Apr-2012, 16:34
My first 4x5 was a Nag. It was so light and the ground glass was very bright compared to the Shen Hao I got as a replacement. The only reason I got rid of it was the damage I did by having a 400mm tele on the front and not tightening the tripod head enough. It ripped one of the screws right out of the wood and was never the same after. A great camera that worked well for me for many years.

Michael was kind enough to send me his broken "Nag" when I was looking for bits to make my own camera as a DIY project. It was used for all the wonderful parts it contained. Everything about the camera is very light but it is exceedingly strong. I have made 2 prototypes so far and they work exceptionally well. The current working version is nothing like the original Nagaoka, however it retains the amazing light weight and surprising rigidity. I replaced the 12" bellows with a 16" Linhof ebay replacement. The current version is so good to use I'm finding great difficulty convincing myself to pull it all apart and finish the project "proper like". I know I never will but I can pretend it is my intention. Again thanks Michael.

Peter Langham
22-Apr-2012, 22:45
Yeah, I never considered a manual for the camera or saw any need. That is why I am surprised and excited to see it. (it's fun) I think it too me a few minutes to learn how to open and close it and that was it. I routinely find myself explaining how simple a camera the view camera is to those not familiar with them. I always say it is a shoebox with a lens at one end and a piece of film at the other.

Michael Wynd
23-Apr-2012, 10:07
I might have a Tachihara 8x10 for sale when I get an 11x14 Steve. LOL.

wok64
18-Oct-2012, 04:00
I bought one in 1995 when visiting the US and used it with wonderful results while hiking through some National Parks in the west. These days I decided to dust it off and give it another try. Unfortunately I found the ground glass broken, shame on me ... Any recommendations for a good ground glass (or where to get the original one)?

Best regards,
Wolfgang

David Schaller
18-Oct-2012, 07:26
I bought one in 1995 when visiting the US and used it with wonderful results while hiking through some National Parks in the west. These days I decided to dust it off and give it another try. Unfortunately I found the ground glass broken, shame on me ... Any recommendations for a good ground glass (or where to get the original one)?

Best regards,
Wolfgang

Sorry I can't help. You might try starting a new thread to bring more attention to your question. Good luck.
Dave

Jon Shiu
18-Oct-2012, 10:51
I bought one in 1995 when visiting the US and used it with wonderful results while hiking through some National Parks in the west. These days I decided to dust it off and give it another try. Unfortunately I found the ground glass broken, shame on me ... Any recommendations for a good ground glass (or where to get the original one)?

Best regards,
Wolfgang
You might call mpex.com to see if a Tachihara or Ebony fresnel + grid glass would work.

Jon